Tag Archives: dogs

Their Only Fault, Really…


He’s Got that Loving Feeling…

“Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull ~

It’s turning out that grooming day, or spa day, as we like to high handily call it in the Burch house, it becoming eventful. Eventful in ways I would rather avoid.

As coincidence would have it, the last two times “spa day” has fallen on each pet’s yearly physical. As I recounted in an earlier post, when we picked them up last time, we were told it was critical BabyGirl, our little Rain Man in a dog suit, have her teeth cleaned.

Boy was it ever critical. Tall & Handsome called me on the way home after he picked her up from her dental visit and broke the news, “They pulled 17 teeth.”

Now, those of you who know me really well will know the next sentence was the occurrence of a minor miracle – I was totally and utterly speechless. For about 45 seconds as images of a puckered face BabyGirl flashed through my head. You can read that post to see how BabyGirl and mom survived the outcome.

So, when we sent Watson and BabyGirl off for their grooming a couple of weeks ago we knew it was time for Watson’s yearly. No problem, just a formality to get out of the way.

Oh, wait – did you hear that shoe anvil drop? Yep, there was yet another surprise waiting when T & H picked our pups up after their “spa day”.

Now, for a little background let me preface with this – we rescued BabyGirl in 2012. She was about two years old at the time. As hard as it is to believe she will be with us four years this coming September. This makes her about six years old.

Watson, our Wonderkin, came to us two weeks shy of his first birthday in 2006. On August 30th he will turn 11 years old. As I type those words not only can I not believe it, but I have an overwhelming urge to go into denial mode because there’s a day in our future I can’t even begin to think about. I’ve even told T & H we need to start a Schnauzer Slush Fund to prepare for that day, because I just don’t know if I can survive without another Wonderkin.

So, T & H walks in the door with two transformed pups – all groomed and looking dog show quality. He on the other hand looked like a man searching for something, and he was.

The right words to tell me what he had to tell me. Oh, snap.

He said, “The vet wanted to talk to me about Watson before we left. Watson has a heart murmur.”

What I felt was indescribable. No, that’s not true. I wanted to rend my clothes, sit in sackcloth and ashes, weep and gnash my teeth and then sit Shiva – and I’m not even Jewish (well, maybe a tiny bit somewhere in my ancestry).

You see this little dog has been more to me than a dog. I know everyone says that, but he really has been. He’s been my friend, my buddy, my pal, my entertainer, my protector, my encourager, my confidant, my child and my angel unaware.

I had that once before in my Ladybug – my little English Cocker Spaniel. I never thought I’d have something like that again.

But, Watson has been that and in some ways has “gone where no dog has gone before”. He’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever known in my life.

T & H and I thought we were smart when we started spelling words to keep him from knowing what we were saying. Watson was smarter when he learned what we were spelling.

If I’m sitting on the bed with my laptop working on something and the timer goes off in the kitchen, he jumps down off the bed and heads to the kitchen ahead of me.

He’s crazy about Granddad, my Daddy and will greet him at the door with such excitement – screaming and carrying on like a teenage girl at a rock concert. And, then, they scuffle.

Like any “child” Watson has had his adventures and misadventures – many I’ve recounted here in this blog.

For instance, Watson is a chocolate bandit. Yes, I know! Chocolate is bad for dogs! Try telling that to the Jack Sparrow of the Schnauzer world. He’s managed to eat my one and only remaining Godiva milk chocolate and coconut truffle – and look punch drunk satisfied, sated, happy and not one iota guilty. He’d do it again in a New York minute. And, I’ve caught him mid-bite with a brownie bite in his mouth. He did have the good common German sense to let it drop out of his mouth. It was a pitiful sight.

But, like anyone with charm and charisma – you just can’t stay upset with him very long.

He’s the perfect companion for me, a person who battles chronic illness and disability. He helps me do it with humor, style and cuddles. He senses when I’m having a really hard time and then, like I tell T & H with humor, Watson becomes like a big hairy tick attached to my side.

How do you face the absence of that in your life? Roughly.

Right now Watson’s heart is compensating for the murmur and the vet said he should be fine unless he becomes listless or starts coughing a lot. For now, he seems as right as rain. We are choosing to enjoy each day as a good day, and so far it has been.

It is because of the men in my life I have a love for dogs. My Papaw had dogs and my Daddy made sure we had dogs when we were girls. T & H brought Watson home to me when Watson was two weeks shy of his first birthday.

I could extol the many wonderful qualities of dogs. I’ve always said there’s no mistake that dog is god spelled backwards – they are His ministering angels here on Earth. But, I am finding…”Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really…”

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Daddy, dogs, Grief, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome, Watson

Out Damn’d Spot!

“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!”  ~ Lady Macbeth, Act 5, Shakespeare ~

Feb 10 2014 copy ae edit

Look at this face! Could there be many things more adorable than this?! Innocence and sweetness oozing from those little dark windows into her soul.

Well, let me tell you something, to paraphrase Bette Davis, “Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

I have written about the journey Tall & Handsome and I began when we rescued this little pup back in September 2012.

I am totally enamored with Miniature Schnauzers and one day we had dropped by Pet Smart to pick up some pet supplies. A local pet shelter was at Pet Smart facilitating an adoption day. I saw a forlorn and quiet BabyGirl (the name she took to and adapted as her own after she moved in with us) pushed to the side.

She was pitifully laying in a cage. The only thing that would have made it more heart wrenching would have been a Sara McLaughlin song playing in the background.

I told T & H, “Honey, that’s a little Schnauzer.”

In a really loving and sweet way he told me I was crazy and she was a Benji dog.

She came home with us that afternoon and the bumpy ride began.

We discovered right away she had been so grossly mistreated it would be a while before we would gain her trust.

And, it was a while – a REALLY long while…

We discovered she had these little switches that turn on and off earning her the title “RainGirl zipped up in a dog suit.” Yes, a little canine Dustin Hoffman.

I was slightly vindicated after her first grooming, because, abracadabra, there was a Miniature Schnauzer!


She began to really take to me and “mark” on me. I was becoming her person. You have not lived until your adoring dog follows you to the bathroom EVERY time and sits and looks at you adoringly while you take care of business.

It can be slightly unnerving…

BabyGirl made it obvious she was not overly fond of men. But, she had just began to warm up to Tall & Handsome when one day he was walking her in the back yard and he bent down to pet her on the head.

Saying she spazzed out would be an understatement. It was back to square one for those two, and it’s still tenuous to this day.

She is getting better and we see many improvements.

But, sometime back we began to notice she was emitting this odor. When I say odor, I mean ODOR. Like in Shakespearean portions.

The kind that would drop a herd of cattle dead in their tracks.

We knew she emitted this funky odor when she was frightened – we called it skunk juice and wondered if she was part skunk – I know, I know – I told you it was a bumpy ride.

But, this was different. It NEVER went away. We could have her groomed, we could bathe her ourselves and the pall of that stench hovered over her.

We felt like Lady Macbeth, but instead of “Out d*mn spot” it was “Out d*mn stench”!

Then in late February she went in for a routine grooming and when we picked her up they told us they were running a special on dental cleaning and BabyGirl REALLY needed her teeth cleaned. So we scheduled it for March 10th.

Well, fasten that seatbelt! When T & H picked up BabyGirl they told him they had to pull seventeen (17) teeth! Yes, that’s correct 17 teeth were pulled.

Just like in humans, bad teeth can cause dogs a lot of problems. In BabyGirl’s case they said it could be genetics, lack of proper nutrition when she was young or any number of things that could have happened to set things in motion before we adopted her.

Unlike humans, the missing 17 teeth will not and has not affected her desired to eat. She still revels in the “room of food” also know as the pantry where their food bowls and water bowls await them (her and Watson the Wonderkin) daily and they each get treats and biscuits designed to promoted dental health.

So, FYI, if your furbaby ever starts smelling like one of the Walking Dead, and you feel yourself going Shakespearean – get the vet to check their teeth out. There may be something rotten in, well, doggie land.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.



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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Dental Care for Dogs, dogs, Life, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome

Provide Them with Food, Water, Shelter and Affection and They Will Think You are god, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Owners of dogs will have noticed, that if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god.”  ~ Christopher Hitchens ~

Babygirl, Watson and the Snow

We’ve had Babygirl now for about a year and a half. And it has been 18 months on one big learning curve full of ups, downs, curly-cues and banana peels – as in Three Stooges slap stick – wooo, wooo, wooo banana peels.

Just to refresh your mind – Babygirl is the adorably cute and photogenic Miniature Schnauzer in the above picture. Her “brother” Watson, our first Schnauzer is standing behind her at the bottom of the steps on the driveway.

Let me tell you – these two little dogs are as different as they look – like night and day.

I laugh every time I look at this picture because Babygirl looks like a WWE wanna be wrestler. And that’s, so far from who she is. She is still so skittish even after 18 months we find it unbelievable. She’s almost afraid of her shadow.

In the picture she actually has snow caught all up in her beard making her look a little menacing, but she’s not. We’ve had two snow events here in Alabama within two weeks of each other in late January and February and during that time Babygirl discovered she was a snow gourmand.

Babygirl and her smorgsborgd

Babygirl at her smordgasbord

Yes, you are seeing exactly what you think you are – Babygirl is “brunching” off the snow that covered our outdoor firepit. How convenient for her it was at the perfect level – mouth level.

She has come far in the 18 months she’s been part of the Burch family. Her little tail spends most of its happy little time up and not plastered to her backside in fear or displeasure. She happily avails herself to the food and water bowls – and Watson’s, too. As a result she has filled out and when she trots around the house she has a little diva sway in her walk. She is quite fond of treats, too. Marshmallow is a very special word in our house – it causes spasms of excitement – who would have “thunk it”?

But, as far as Tall & Handsome goes – well, the jury is still out on that one. We can all be up on the bed in the evening before our fur babies have to go to their “condos” (crates) for bedtime. T & H and I will be watching a little TV, reading or spending some time on the computer. Watson has no problem whatsoever establishing his rightful place, which is usually between T & H and myself. Babygirl usually lays at the foot of the bed down by my feet.

Should T & H get up and walk around to her side of the bed or room, Babygirl gets up and moves to the head of the bed next to me. When T & H nears her “personal space” it’s like a giant asteroid is hurtling towards Earth – a major red-code-get-out-of-the-way-emergency.

We still would like to meet the guy or guys in a dark alley who abused this little dog and made her so fearful of men. There isn’t anyone one Earth who has a softer heart for animals than my T & H.

Babygirl still has a few other issues that discombobulate us from time to time. Take for instance her ability to jump up on the bed. She learned in no time flat – like a high speed race car going from zero to 60 in three seconds.

Then one day a switch went off in that little mind of hers and ZAP, she no longer could do it anymore. A few days later the switched tripped again and ZAP she was hopping up on the bed again. About two weeks later ZAP – yep, you got it she started riding the short bus on how to get up on Momma’s bed. I am now her enabler and the ONLY way she will get on the bed.

And, then there’s that digestion thing. For such a dainty, girly looking little thing, this little dog could blow the walls down burping.

You have not lived until a dog jumps up, looks deeply and adoringly into your eyes and then burps. You can hear her across the house. It rocks your world – not… We won’t talk about those methane emission either or the fact that if T & H needs to pick her up for some emergency reason she emits some funky fear pheromone that rivals the best bloodhound or skunk. It is so odoriferous it strikes fear in the heart of a grown man…my grown man in particular.

She still gets rattled suddenly and will do that “running in place, getting traction, trying to get away thing” when startled. After 18 months of peaceful living you would think that would have stopped. Nope, not so far, but, there is less of it.

And, there is progress. T & H says quite often, “Honey you saved that little dog and she knows it. She is your dog. She adores you. She is a one person dog.”

I don’t really know what to say because T & H is such an animal person. Babygirl doesn’t know what she’s missing out on by being a “daddy’s girl”.

But, he is right. She is my dog. She follows me everywhere and I do mean EVERYWHERE. Let me tell you, life is not complete until you sit down on a toilet – even to just rub foot cream on your feet, and a little brown eyed dog pops up beside you and stares lovingly and adoringly into your eyes. Sometimes I’m like, “Really, Babygirl, you want to do this NOW?!”

She has gain courage in her quest to go where I am. Therefore she learned to trek up and down the stairs so she could go to the quilt room with me.

Courage, one step at a time. That’s all it will take and who knows where she will be 18 more months from now. But, I do know one thing. What Christopher Hitchens said is true. I have fed her, watered her, sheltered her and given her love and affection and when she looks at me I can see I am her everything – for lack of a better word – her god, her provider. (T & H does the same thing and hopefully one day she will see this in him, too, and not continue to unjustly reject him – hummm – what a word picture we have here.)

It made me think – about the word pictures. Where do we look for our needs, concerns and worries? Do we look up? Or are we on a hamster wheel spinning, spinning, spinning wearing ourselves out? We do have Someone to look up to, also.

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’ ~ Matt. 6:26 ~ NIV

© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


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Filed under Babygirl, dogs, Matt 6:26, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Snow, Snow in AL, Watson

Dogs are Miracles with Paws, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“Dogs are miracles with paws.” ~ Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy ~

Watson watching Poppa go to work 2013 A

I took today’s picture one morning when Tall & Handsome was leaving for work. Watson, the Wonderkin was standing in the screened-in deck with me just “itching” to run out and jump in the car and go somewhere with “Poppa”.

I told him to stay and thought nothing of it until I looked down and saw him in this pose. The little scamp had propped his front paws up on the patio chair and was gazing out the screen to watch T & H depart. It was just too cute not to snap and I just happen to have my camera with me since I was going to be wandering around in the back yard capturing some photos of nature.

To say that Watson is a remarkable little dog would be a gross understatement. I know most people feel that way about their pets, but this little fellow is crazy smart. I have been a serial dog owner and have owned many fantastic dogs. I even wrote about it in a chapter called To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before in The BamaSteelMagnolia™ Diaries.

But, this little dog is in a league of his own…

…and he knows his “job” is to take care of me. He does a mighty fine job of it, too. When I’m sick or down he cuddles and snoozes by me, he nudges, loves, plays and enriches my life in ways beyond description.

He is my own little miracle on paws…I’ll even forgive him the time he snatched my last Godiva truffle when I wasn’t looking…

You just don’t take miracles for granted, don’t you know…

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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A Heartbeat at My Feet, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“ My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” ~ Edith Wharton”

coy girl

What makes you get a lump in your throat and your eyes puddle with tears? For me one glimpse of the sweet little face above is a one way ticket to Cry Town.

She was my Lady…or Ladybug as I fondly called her sometimes. She was a roan English Cocker Spaniel and if you looked up the words “canine perfection”, sweetness”, “love on four legs”, “super smart”, “loyal to the death” and “I will take care of you”…well, then, you would see my Ladybug’s beautiful picture looking back at you.

Lady came to me quite by accident…through a co-worker of my ex. I had never had an indoor dog. I’d always had big “I –will-protect-you-to-the-death” dogs like German Shepherds or Collies, Boxers and English Setters. All definitely outdoor types.

Being the OCD type that I am, when Lady first came to live with us I avowed there would be NO dogs allowed on the furniture…no never…

Well, the joke was on me as you can see from today’s picture. She was allowed on the foot of the bed at night, but never on the bed after it was made. This was her weakness…we went through great efforts to enforce that one. Anytime we left the house, we had to close the bedroom doors. Otherwise, we would come home to a blissfully happy, sleeping little red dog buried amongst the pillows.

But, she knew her boundaries…she never got up on the living room furniture…even if we were in there. She just knew that was something she shouldn’t push…she was that smart.

I use to say that I had been abandoned loved ones, but Lady never left me. She was my shadow.

In 1995 I became very sick, sicker than I even realized. I think intuitively Lady knew what was wrong, because she stuck closer to me than normal. Eventually I discovered my non-smoking lung cancer had returned, this time in my left lung. Ladybug was the heartbeat at my feet…

The day I came home from the hospital after my cancer surgery I will never forget. When she saw me walking up the sidewalk, she went crazy. It took two grown men and my 15 year old son to hold her back. She was that anxious to smother me with love.

During recuperation she would not let me out of her sight. One night I had a particularly day night and as if she had doggie ESP, she hopped up and was in my lap and sleeping. This was gigantic for her, because she was not a lap dog.

I went through many things after that. I was stalked, my health continued to fail, I moved, I went through a divorce, went through a tornado and I met Tall & Handsome and remarried. Each time Lady was there…a heartbeat at my feet…

Her health began to fail. It was something I couldn’t bear…to loose my Ladybug…my constant companion and loyal friend. If I hadn’t had T & H during that time, I don’t know what I would have done. He was very good to her and helped take care of her. He is my resident Dr. Doolittle..

Finally, one day in 2004 it happened…doggie heaven became a little richer and sweeter, and I lost the heartbeat at my feet…

Well, done thy good and faithful servant…

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under dogs, English Cocker Spaniel, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Tall & Handsome

Rain Girl in a Dog Suit, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Rain Man Girl in a Dog Suit,

I’ve been thinking about Michael Vick a lot lately…

To refresh memories, back in 2007 Michael Vick was an Atlanta Falcon pro football player who got himself into a heap of trouble over dog fighting. Mr. Vick had a 19 page indictment against him that pretty much laid open the dirty little secret he had been keeping on his property in Virginia…he was running an illegal and atrocious dog fighting kennel and ring. Many of Vick’s supporters felt he should be given a pass on the discovery of his secret hobby on the grounds that it was a “cultural thing”. In other words, they were saying that people of color find it acceptable to abuse and misuse animals.

Well, all of that didn’t fly too well with the general public and long story short, Mr. Vick was convicted. He spent several months in prison.

Now, I’m all for a person moving on with their life, especially after they have paid their dues so to speak. They deserve to try to make a normal life for themselves as long as they are productive, decent citizens.

So, my beef here is not the fact that Vick is out of prison now. No, it’s how in the name of heaven could he have done what he did in the first place?

You see, this was been driven home to Tall & Handsome and me recently. We adopted a little female Schnauzer (possible Schnauzer mix) dog from a local shelter. We have fallen in love with the breed because of our Watson. Schnauzers are crazy smart little dogs and make wonderful, delightful companions. I have said Watson it like a little boy zipped up inside a dog suit. He is that much like a child at times. He’s so smart that we actually have to spell words in front of him and he has actually reasoned out a couple of them!

So when we saw this little orphan needing a home, I confess, I was the first who developed weak knees and buckled. She looked so sad, lonely, hopeless and helpless. She was a diamond in the rough, cute as could be and I knew with a good grooming the Schnauzer in her would blossom. Unlike Watson who is a dark charcoal grey with light markings and a docked tail and ears, this little gal is a salt and pepper (light grey) and her ears were not docked…typical for Schnauzers in Europe. She had the same cute puddles of sweetness for eyes framed by those infamous long Schnauzer eye lashes. One look into those eyes and your heart feels like a jiggling Jell-o mold of mush.

We couldn’t resist and we took the plunge…and, went down a path we’d never experienced before…adopting from a shelter.

For you see, it appears we have adopted the Rain Man Girl zipped up in a dog suit. In the two years this tiny little dog has been on this Earth she has had a litter of puppies and evidently been mistreated so terribly she flinches every time you reach out to pet her. She is especially leery of Tall & Handsome which is shocking because he is Mr. Jet Puff Marshmallow when it comes to animals. He is kind of like the Dr. Doolittle of the family. We have concluded that somewhere, sometime there must have been a man or men that mistreated her terribly. I know her not so subtle reject of T & H must cut at his big kind heart, but he patiently bids him time waiting for her inner healing to come.

When I think of how someone could harm a tiny, helpless little dog like that, well, I’d like to be in a special room with Mr. Michael Vick and anyone else guilty of such behavior and give them a piece of my mind. A dose of their own medicine would probably work, too, but then again, it would probably be against the law to tie up a grown man and beat the poop out of him…just saying. I’d also ask him if he feels like a really big man…

Our little gal came to us with the name Krista. T & H and I both didn’t think that fit her, but were willing to keep it. Over the course of trying to help her heal and adapt to family life we have called her Baby Girl. That is what she answers to now. So, I would say she is now Baby Girl Burch. My parents both have asked, “You named her Baby Girl?” Are you going to call her something else?” Lately we’ve been trying out Tinkerbelle…

We’ve had her a little over 2 months now. We have seen progress in her, but she still has a way to go in many areas. Trust is one of them. I have become Momma and I seem to be her safe place. I seem to be able to handle her and pet her without her flinching or freaking out first. In fact, she will actually approach me for attention now, especially if I’m loving on Watson. Yes, there seems to be some sibling rivalry going on there. I have seen her and Watson scuffle and play a time or two until she realizes what she’s doing and then it’s like, “Ooops, what’s going on here?” Baby Girl/Tinkerbelle will follow Watson around in the yard and she tries to mimic him…you should see a tiny girl dog try to tinkle on a tree…it is truly a site to behold and make you wonder if she will come in with splinters on her bum.

She’s still warming up to T & H, but she will now take a treat from his hand on occasion…big progress! But, there are still times when she runs if he tries to pet her. She also does this approach and retreat thing if you call her to you. It’s almost schizophrenic. The other day I let the dogs out and T & H was setting up a toy train under the Christmas tree in the dining room. When Baby Girl came marching back in T & H’s big head was in the doorway (he was still laying in the floor working on the train). He looked up at her and said, “Hey, Baby Girl”. She looked like a deer that had been caught in a blind and shot. After that, it took a lot of cajoling from me to get her back into the house. Good thing the porch in screened in back there.

I am practicing picking her up and setting her down. The picking up part takes time and in the beginning it was like picking up a corpse in full rigor mortis. Stiff as a chunk of firewood…hand to God, no kidding. If it wasn’t so pitiful it would be hilarious. She draws her front legs up so tightly they look like the front paws of a kangaroo. The good news: Picking her up is becoming a little easier, she doesn’t fight as much and isn’t as tense…at least with me.

Setting her down has been another story. It was like trying to place a gyrating football. I have been teaching her the word “easy” much like I taught Watson and I proud to say slowly but surely each time I set her down there’s less “swimming” going on and more calm. I am proud to say that is finally beginning to take hold.

We’re crate training her for several reasons, one being potty training. She was semi-potty trained, but we count each day without an accident like an addict out of rehab. If she falls of the wagon, we start counting all over again.

She has no problem with her crate and sleeps in it at night. As a matter of fact, we had to get use to her being here and in it. The first night T & H, Watson and I all three bolted up in bed when we heard what sounded like a poltergeist in the room. It was Baby Girl standing up in her “condo” as we call it and stretching, shimmying and shaking before settling back down.

Last night was a major breakthrough. She had been up on the bed with us while we watched some TV before bedtime. Usually I have to pick her up and put her in her crate, but I always tell her “it’s bedtime”. Last night, I stood up, looked at her and said, “Baby Girl, it’s bedtime.” Well, she did that little “yes I will, no I won’t” thing, but after working with her, she hopped down off the bed and walked into her crate!” Shut the front door and pick Momma up off the floor!

So, that’s how life goes with our little abused and damaged Rain Girl. Everyday an adventure and each day a new day for me to tell her…”you is smart…you is beautiful…you is important…you is loved…”

baby girl went to the beauty shop

Baby Girl went to the “beauty shop”

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Dog fighting, dogs, Michael Vick, Miniature Schnauzer, Paraphrase Quote from The Help, Pet Adoption, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Tall & Handsome

A “Boy” and His Dawg, by Beverly Hicks Burch

a boy and his dog B

Today is National Dog Day…so in honor of this auspicious day…my two guys.

And just a hint…every day is National Dog Day around my house…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, dogs, Miniature Schnauzer, National Dog Day, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Tall & Handsome

Did Someone Say Godiva?, by Beverly Hicks Burch

did someone say godiva

Before anyone says anything we do not make a habit of this and do not give him what I’m about to tell you on a regular basis…

…with that said, our dog, Watson thinks chocolate is crack. He can smell it though cellophane bags and goes nuts. If it comes into the house we go through maneuvers worthy of drug smugglers just to get it past his keen Miniature Schnauzer nose.

I discovered that quite by accident and I must say much to my chagrin. You see some time ago Tall & Handsome was the Senior Account Manager for Godiva Chocolate. I will admit there was an occasion or two when he gifted me with rather wonderful collections of chocolate because of this association. In one such gift I discovered my own personal Turkish delight…and that would be their coconut centered, milk chocolate covered truffle.

Now one day at work a very large box was open and inside was one of these yummy little jewels. T & H snagged it for me and brought it home that evening. Needless to say visions of Godiva sugar plums danced in my head looking forward to after dinner when said truffle was to be my after dinner treat.

I had taken this little treat and placed it on my night stand thinking what a safe place that could be and oblivious to the fact I was living with a closet chocolate thief. Oh, how I was living in such unknown naiveté. After cleaning up the kitchen after supper, T & H and I retired for the evening to the bedroom for some TV where I intended to enjoy my luscious Godiva that was causing mouth watering visions since before supper.

I stepped into the bedroom, walked around the side of the bed and looked at the strangely and glaringly vacant night stand. Yes, vanished! Gone, no where in site, no where to be found was my much anticipated Godiva truffle.

But, laying on the bed, snoozing, content, happy and in chocolate overdose happyland was Watson…

Believe me…no dog was hurt in the Godiva incident …just one very perturbed doggie Momma…

Today’s picture is what I call Watson’s “Did someone say Godiva look?”.

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Chocolate, dogs, Godiva, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Tall & Handsome

The Unkindest Cut, by Beverly Hicks Burch

The Unkindest Cut

By Beverly Hicks Burch

The Burch household recently went through unforeseen trauma of the medical kind. It’s getting pretty bad when even your dog has a medical “emergency” associated with male middle age…

One morning, Tall & Handsome mentioned to me that our little darling, Watson the Wunderkind seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time to tinkle. So much time in fact that he seemed to have been frozen in the “hiked leg position” by the White Witch of Narnia. Yes, we were afraid he would become a new lawn ornament.

Pressing down panic, I told T & H (who is the proverbial “worry wart” when it comes to the health of our ‘baby boy”) that it was probably a UTI (urinary tract infection). I did not tell him that the back of my mind was screaming possible blockage and prostrate problems…no, my dear T & H has fair enough complexion as it is. I had no desire to see him ghost white just in time for Halloween.

We observed that the situation was far more than “frozen hiked leg” syndrome. Instead of a steady stream of tinkle little drops were the ticket of the day…no wonder it was taking so long…and so often.

We knew a trip to the vet was in store and we truly dreaded it. We just weren’t prepared to hear any bad news at this point in time…

As we waited patiently for the visit, Watson waited not so patiently. Every dog he saw, he went nuts so over. Yet when he saw the house spawn of Satan cat he made a friendly approach and greeted it like a long lost friend with a wagging tail. Geez…

Once in the exam room, the vet comes in and he tells us what he thinks the problem could be: UTI, blockage or prostrate problem. (I really do think I missed my calling in life sometimes…). He wanted to take an X-ray to rule out stones, so off goes our little fellow for an X-ray.

They come back with good news and bad news. There are no stones. Fantastic! But, our Precious is full of poop! Literally. His little intestines looked like a big long sausage.

Sooo…Dr. J says, “We’re going to give him an enema and after that we’ll give him a prostrate exam.”

Enema?! You can do that to a dog? Really?!

So off they take my tiny little bundle of love and affection for the procedure. He was gone all of 45 seconds. Wow! I don’t know what kind of enema that was but it had to have been jet propelled.

He returned like a new dog with a spring and lightness in his step…until…all of a sudden he turned around to look at his little back side. He just knew something was wrong. I was sitting in a chair and Tall & Handsome was standing up, oblivious to the unfolding events. The “wrong” in Watson’s life was he had uncontrollable anal leakage caused by the enema…and it was leaking all over T & H’s black and silver tipped Western cowboy boots.

All I could do was sit there, point and mutter, “Uh…oh, no…your boots, your boots…” He got the point…

…especially when the room began to smell like a skunk that had been run over in front of a paper mill…

Then. Dr. J comes in for the next fun part of the visit. All guys…be prepared to flinch here. Watson had is first prostrate exam. He was not happy…

The outcome was his prostrate was swollen. That was causing the urinary problems and had cut off his bowel making that function difficult also. Our puppy was in a world of hurt.

So, he was sent home with an antibiotic, Prednisone, doggie Imodium and special food. He was to come back in 10 days to see if the prostrate had gone down and if not, we had to decide if we were going to proceed with that “operation”.

Well, of course when we went back you know the prostrate was still the size of an egg. It was time for Watson to let go as they say.

His surgery was done in a day. He came back home that evening tired and sleepy. He laid around for a couple of days but began to return to his old self with the exception of one thing. They certainly do these surgeries different nowadays. Let’s just say it looks like he had a reduction surgery from golf ball size down to dried up prune. I give him credit…his ego is still in tack…

That’s my boy!

Who me prostrate problems

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under dogs, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Pet Health, Pets, Photography, Tall & Handsome

Chocolate, Godiva and Crack for Dogs, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Chocolate, Godiva and Crack for Dogs,

By Beverly Hicks Burch

I have a confession. I am not a chocoholic. I’m not a big sweet eater. If I do eat something sweet, I prefer something fruity, or a cup of yogurt. I am more of a crunchy, salty, savory type of gal. Give me hot popcorn or a bag of Wavy Lays and a carton a low-fat French onion dip and it’s stress-busting, movie watching, dream come true…no spoon and ice cream carton for me…nor sir!


I will confess to an occasional dip into chocolate. Yes, even me. I am not totally impervious to the dark allure of the cacao bean. Although in my case a little chocolate goes a long way…

…and over the course of the last year or so I have made a startling discovery. Chocolate is like crack for my dog! Sad, but true, especially since chocolate is considered poison for canines.

My enlightenment started with a shocking experience when I caught the little bandit red handed or I should saw, red-pawed or red gummed, last fall.

It started like this…I had discovered a product called “brownie bites”. I know, I know…but, at the time I was working from home, T & H was out of town and I thought, “Ok, quick and easy.” A couple of these tiny little gems (about an inch or so across) were just enough to satisfy any sweet tooth longing I might have and not be a calorie buster.

The first time I brought them home, Watson, AKA the Wonderkin who admits to being a typical Miniature Schnauzer in many ways, but is also like a little boy zipped up in a dog suit, went berserk. I swear the dog could smell the chocolate through the unopened plastic container. Knowing what I know now, I swear, he could be the first Miniature Schnauzer trained and used to sniff out contraband down at the local fat farm. But, at the time, I had no idea what that omen meant for me or that chocolate was the trigger until a few days later.

One evening after work I decided to try these little jewels. I was also going to have a cup of coffee. So, smart girl that I am, I took two brownie bites out of the plastic container, placed them artfully and neatly on a saucer. I turned on my Kuerig coffee brewer to warm up and then took my brownie bites to the bedroom where I intended to watch a good chick flick while enjoying my brownie bites and coffee while snuggle up under a quilt on my king-sized Select Comfort bed. Innocently, I sat the saucer down on the nightstand…way far from the edge and returned to the kitchen to brew my cup of coffee.

I then returned to the bedroom and the minute my foot crossed the bedroom door thread hold I knew something was wrong. Standing in the middle of the king sized bed with a HUGE guilty sign flashing madly over his head stood my 15 pounds of adorable, addicted Schnauzer. And when he saw me, something immediately dropped out of his mouth.

When I saw the dark brown blob my first reaction was a screaming brain shouting, “Oh my gosh Willy Wonka is back!” But, I calmed myself and with the heightened senses of a good CSI I began to take in the scene. As I glanced around the room, one of the first pieces of glaring evidence I noticed was a totally empty saucer setting on the nightstand…that’s right, no brownie bites. Then, when I approached the brown blob lying on the bed I saw what strongly resembled an almost eaten brownie bite…it was just kinda flattened, kinda damp (is that called biological?) and with the perfect imprint of doggie teeth smack dab in the middle. No need to make a plaster cast to see whose teeth the imprint would match… That and a very guilty looking Schnauzer equaled one thing…one little dog in deep caca…

But, being the good mom that I am, my mind quickly kicked into worry mode when I began to calculate the possibility of what was going to happen to my little angel who had just ingested doggie poison. Long story short, he was perfectly fine, slept like a baby and miraculously had no side or after effects.

But, from that day forward even the whiff of chocolate has been like crack for this dog. I swear on a good day in a down draft he can smell chocolate all the way from Hershey, PA…and we’re in the South.

Now, here’s where another little confessions comes into play. My Tall & Handsome kinda has an inside to Godiva. This year for Valentine’s Day he totally surprised me with their new bakery truffles which are like OMGosh fantastic. It was a pleasure I managed to share…and stretch out until just the other day. But, every time I took the box out of the fridge Watson went crazy and would attach to me like dust bunnies to Velcro. Needless to say, he just had to dream…no way would I knowingly be enabling his little habit…

Well, he got his well planned little revenge this evening.

Today when T & H came in from work, he brought me one special Godiva truffle…milk chocolate with a coconut center. I was delighted because this is one of my favorites and is kind of rare. I could hardly wait until after dinner…that truffle was my reason for getting through dinner. I could already taste it…

But, oh, how life like to play little tricks on us…and how short our memory is. Once again, I placed my precious little gem on the nightstand and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner. The truffle would be my special treat while I watched Castle…or maybe not…

After dinner as settled in for a little TV I reached over to pick up my special little chocolate morsel…taste buds anticipating heaven. Instead, there was an oddly vacant space on the nightstand. I didn’t even have to wonder. I knew the Godiva loving, chocolate loving, crack addict bandit had struck again…and he wasn’t even feeling guilty…or even a little queasy…he was snoozing peacefully at the foot of the bed happy as a lark.

Does anyone know a good rehab for a chocolate addicted, Godiva loving Schnauzer?

See mug shots below…

Who me guilty

Who Me? Do I look guilty?

Chocolate hangover

Chocolate Hangover

Poison who said poison

Poison? Did someone say poison?!

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Candy, Chocolate, dogs, Godiva, Humor, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Tall & Handsome, Truffles, Watson